Flashback Friday

Of a different kind.

A little while ago Martha wrote a post on green.
Then Loraine asked me about the colour of the walls in my house.

It seemed right to post about green walls.

This is my old studio in inner west Sydney which I shared with another designer (still a great friend long after both of us have moved on from the studio).

It was situated in a three storey warehouse of uncertain vintage.
But what I do know of its narrative is that during the 1930s it functioned as a Speedo factory, back in the day when Speedos were made out of wool. (Imagine that! What springs to mind for me is memories of those Swimming Medallions we were all made to do at school which often involved jumping full clothed in to the deep end of the pool, staying afloat and 'saving' classmates).

I know this because one day a middle aged man and his rather older mother came in to our studio and asked to look around.
Turned out that this lovely little old lady had worked in the building in the 1930s, making swimming costumes, at a machine which stood in the very spot my desk stood. She looked out at the same view as me - the same church spire- all those years ago, except back in those days it was still a cemetary. These days the cemetary is banished to much further back, clinging to a scrap of land around said church, leaving a grassed over parkland which fills with dogs each afternoon.

By the time we moved in, our floor had been reduced to nasty 60s-era boxy offices, and we did much DIY renovation. The walls facing out on to the park we painted Wattyl Florida Palm -a dark complex olive- which were a perfect foil to the clean white of the other walls and the raw timber of the impressively massive beams.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi carson,

what an interesting post! i love your choice of a dark bold color for your studio. it sounds like it added a terrific contrast to the room. that lady must have been happy to see some color on the wall! :)

3 December 2007 at 2:55 am  
Blogger Suse said...

I'm still reeling at the notion of woollen Speedos.

3 December 2007 at 11:00 am  
Blogger Jesse said...

Nice story! I love finding out who lived/worked in buildings before me.

4 December 2007 at 4:08 am  
Blogger Michele said...

a great read! and how amazing that your woman visitor had her sewing desk in exactly the same spot as your desk.

4 December 2007 at 2:01 pm  

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